'Lost': Flashes of brilliance abound

Evangelinelilly_lost_s5_240 Oh, Lost. Glorious, glorious Lost. When I first heard you were doing an episode involving "Kate" and "legal trouble," I had horrific flashbacks to the fourth episode of last season. That, too, featured Kate in some legal hot water, and was a low point in the season's storied run. But this time around? Well, you did a whole host of things right. Not only did you keep a brisk pace while simultaneously warping our feeble little brains, but you brought back two beloved characters. Nicely done.

Once again, I'll be taking a We Have to Go Back approach to the events of tonight. On with what went down!

4) In Short

"Voulez-vous coucher avec Lost (ce soir)?"

8) On the Island

Juliet and Daniel tend to Charlotte's passed-out self while Miles gets water. Juliet wants to know what's happening with her, but Daniel's reticent to say anything with Sawyer all up in his grille. Once he leaves, Faraday confesses he thought this might happen, theorizing that Charlotte's internal mind clock is thrown off by all the flashes. When Juliet asks why it only affects her, Faraday states he doesn't know. LIAR.

A preternaturally calm Locke tells Sawyer they should head to the Orchid. He thinks since Ben started everything there, he can stop it. Locke tells Sawyer of his plan to bring back Jack and Kate Plus Eight to the Island. Locke's job is to bring them back ..."even if it kills me." And CLANG goes the anvil. Their conversation is cut short by Charlotte awakening. She temporarily doesn't remember Daniel, but soon does. Aside from a headache, she's actually in pretty good shape. Sawyer announces to the group that they're off to the Orchid. Locke neglects to mention that it was his idea. Very Ben of him.

Joshholloway_lost_s5_240 Walking to the beach, the group sees something surprising: a bright shaft of light in the distance, shooting straight into the sky. Boy, THAT looks familiar. Locke wants to take the long way around to the beach all of a sudden, prompting Daniel to ask Locke if he knows when they are. That he does, Daniel, but like everyone else in this episode, he refuses to answer a direct question. A shout in the near distance gets their attention: Sawyer follows it and finds ... Claire giving birth with Kate's help. Holy ... wow. Just watch Sawyer's face as he looks upon that which is lost. Good God. Season 5 is the Season of Sawyer.

As they walk towards the beach post-flash, Locke and Sawyer discuss "when" they just were, with Locke giving Sawyer the rundown on the source of that light. When Sawyer asks Locke why he didn't warn himself of things to come, Locke notes that he needs the pain from that night to get to the point he's at now. This is a crazy, almost Messianic Locke. I think I like it, but this dude's let me down before. I've broken up with him like, five times in the show's history. I don't wanna get hurt again. If this were a Lifetime Movie, it would be called Locke'd Out: The Ryan McGee Story.

A little ways back, Miles confesses to Daniel that he's started to have nosebleeds as well. Daniel suggests that length of time on the Island corresponds to how quickly a person starts to bleed. When Miles says that's ridiculous, and he's been there only two weeks, Faraday asks, "Are you sure about that?" CLANG. This is getting a bit silly.

They make it back to the beach, where there is a camp but no people. Locke finds Vincent's leash, but no Vincent. No, Vincent can't be dead! Nooooo! The Zodiac is missing, but in its place are two outrigger canoes with a water bottle marked "Ajira Airways" inside one of them. Hey, it's our first trip to the future, people! Exciting times! More on this in the mythology below. But this is the future. Trust me.

The six start Outward Bound-ing their way along the shore, paddling their way to the Orchid. As they row, Sawyer confesses to Juliet that he saw Kate and Claire the previous night. Hmmm, interesting that he tells her and not Locke. Just then, shots are fired, and mysterious people in the other outrigger are now firing away. Juliet insists they are not Others as they scramble for safety. The familiar white light starts to appear, and Sawyer hysterically says, "Thank You Lord!" They end up at night in the pouring rain. "I take that back!" he says. Sawyer's on FIRE, people.

Locke and Company get to shore, exhausted and wet from their journey. As they try and catch their breath, Juliet suggests she and Sawyer finish their conversation about Kate. After some gentle prodding, Sawyer describes what it was like to see her again: he was close enough to touch her, he wanted to, he could have stood right up and talked to her. Why didn't he? "What's done is done," says a man who seems to have almost let go for good. Juliet needs to stop hitting on guys who are into Kate more than they are into her. In a related story, I'm not into Kate at all. Just sayin', Juliet. Their conversation stops when he notices Juliet's nose start to bleed.

Charlotte calls out to the group. Right by where they landed, there's a surfeit of wreckage...and the writing on it is all in French. French, you say? Oh, no, are they...yes, yes they are. We cut to a group of French people in a raft in the rainstorm. They are frantically trying to figure out what to do next. One of them sees a body floating in the nearby water. They pull the body in, and it's Jin. Danielle and Jin return in the same scene? And it's not my birthday? Lost is just the bestest ever.

Jin comes to slowly as the French people hear The Numbers broadcast over their radios. A young pregnant woman, who speaks English, tends to Jin. We meet Montand, alive and with two arms. And the young woman's name? Why, Danielle Rousseau, of course.  Gonna go pick up my brains off the floor and head to the next section now.

15) Off the Island

Three years ago, just two days after Ben Linus turned the donkey wheel, Jack and Kate discuss the fate of Aaron aboard the Searcher. Kate tells Jack she wants to keep the child, unable to bear any more loss after recent events. She concocts the lie we know all so well, and bids Jack good night. Before she can leave, Jack tells Kate that he'll be looking at her tomorrow morning to agree to his plan to lie. Is she with him? "I have always been with you. Except, you know, for all those times I was having cage sex with Sawyer." OK, she didn't say that last part.

Yunjinkim_lost_s5_240 In Sun's hotel room, Kate puts on a loaner suit thanks to her "friend." She leaves Aaron alone with her while she runs an "errand" of unknown import. As she leaves, a hotel employee brings Sun a package. Inside are two things. One is a folder, complete with detailed information and photographs of Ben's recent whereabouts. The other? A box of chocolates. It's got all kinds of goodies ... caramel, fudge, and oh, a handgun below them all. Life is like a box of chocolates -- you never know who you'll have to kill to avenge the death of your husband.

Turns out Kate's errand takes her to the legal office of Dan Norton, where she makes a deal: She'll give him the blood sample if Norton allows her to speak with said client. Norton points out Kate's in no position to make any type of deal, apparently unaware that "normal legal procedures" and "Kate" don't mix. Things turn from bad to worse as Norton insists that Kate is about to lose the child, and there's nothing she can do to stop it.

Sayid wants to leave the hospital, but Jack wants him to stay put. A Dr. Ariza comes in and yells at Jack for practicing medicine while on suspension. Hurley then calls Jack ... from prison. Oh, Hugo, jumpsuit orange is so not your color. These distractions allow an assassin to walk in from one of the Bourne movies to try and tranquilize Sayid. Luckily, Sayid's way too smart for that and eventually subdues the man. He finds a piece of paper in the man's wallet that lists Kate's home address. Boy, awfully convenient, how that piece of paper just poof, fell right out.

Jack rushes out of the hospital and calls Kate. She's outside Norton's office, waiting for him to leave to meet his client. She eventually tells him her location. Jack goes after Kate while Sayid accompanies Ben to deal with springing Hugo.  Ben gives Jack the meeting place: Slip 23 (naturally), that night. Superfriends, ho! Or, something like that. Ben off-Island just feels ... well, off. It's the only word I can use to describe it.

Jack meets Kate at her car. Just noticed that in the "future," Jack looks like he's aged thirty years since leaving the Island. He ages the way presidents age. Just a hella good job by the makeup department. Kate fills Jack in on the Aaron situation. Right then, Norton pulls away; Jack gets in the car and they head off in pursuit. They end up at a hotel, where they see the identity of the client: it's none other than Claire's mother. Aaaaand here comes the rain.

Jack tells Kate to let him talk to Carole alone. Why? Because he can fix this, Kate. Of course you can, Jack. Of course you can. Kate eventually relents when Jack says, "Aaron is my family, too." He heads upstairs, and it's incredibly apparent incredibly quickly that Jack, Kate, and everyone else has been led down a dead-end. She's indeed a client of Norton's, but she's only in town to collect a settlement from Oceanic Airlines.

Ben and Sayid pull into an underground parking garage. Meeting them there? Dan Norton, naturally. Ben is the client, as many of us surmised. OF COURSE The Others have a lawyer. I'm just surprised Norton doesn't work for Wolfram & Hart. He informs Ben that Hugo's legal woes will be over in the morning. As Dan walks away, we get a great shot of the name on the van Sayid is driving: Canton-Rainier. Do a little re-arranging of those letters, and you get "reincarnation." Wonder if that's like, meaningful or anything.

Slip 23 time: Kate is shocked and appalled to learn that Jack tricked her into meet Ben. She quickly deduces that Ben is the client, a fact he doesn't even try and conceal. Sayid sorta just stands there, all mopey. This is like the most awkward high school reunion ever. In the near distance, Sun has got a gun.  She pulls it out of the chocolate box and heads to meet the others. "Yea, Ben, I have your coconut-filled right here!"

16) The Mythology

I...uh...er....um...wow. That's a lot to digest. A lot. Let's break this down topic by topic.

We know why Faraday is worried about all their lives. The white flashes that send them to and fro in time will eventually kill them all. Furthermore, they will die in order of longest time on the Island, which means Charlotte was on the island longer than Miles who was on the Island longer than Juliet. Now, we know for a fact that Juliet has been on the Island more than three years, so looks like Miles spent a good chunk of time on the Island at one point and can't remember a damn thing about it.

Flashing into the future is not only possible: it has already happened. If you've been following the promotional elements of Lost, you squealed when you saw Ajira Airways show up on the Island this week. Ajira is Hindi for "Island," and is quite possibly a Mittelos Biosciences/Others endeavor to battle Widmore's Oceanic Airlines. We're meant to think that those were enemies firing at them; I think we'll see either see the Oceanic 6 in desperate pursuit to save their friends before the flash, or learn the Oceanic 6 escaped into the jungle after returning to the Island to avoid the people on that second boat.

The Others essentially are embedded in every facet of society.
Dan Norton is just another of the seemingly endless supply of people dedicated to The Others' cause. Which is all a way of saying that just below the surface of the everyday lies the eternal, ongoing battle for control of the Island. Think of The Matrix, with everyday people not inside a computer program but nonetheless unaware of the complex machinations that permeate their daily lives. The Others have lawyers, judges, and a host of people in high-ranking parts of nearly every society. The reason they seem omnipresent is because, well, they ARE omnipresent. But they are NOT omnipotent, and that's the key distinction.

Danielle was telling the truth! Everything about her story checks out: Robert, The Numbers, Montand, her being preggers. For a while, many of us wondered how truthful her tales really were. Course, Montand still has two arms, but they haven't ventured into the Dark Territory just yet. Wonder if Jin will be there to see it happen.

Time travel will increasingly put paradox into play. While no one has yet succumbed to this, and Faraday insists they couldn't even if they wanted to, we've nevertheless seen instances in which two Lockes/Sawyers/Juliets exist on the Island at the same time. Now, Faraday would tell you, "If it didn't happen, it can't happen." But rules are made to be broken, not just by Desmond. For now, the flashes seem to almost be sentient, stopping paradox before it can happen. But will that always be the case? And is there more than one force pushing them along their not-so-merry way?

Reincarnation's now on the table. That van was a big ol' honkin' UNSCRAMBLE ME, PLEASE. There have been simply too many anagrams in this show to not stare at that sign and immediately decipher it. Now, you can look at this in a few ways, the first being Locke's potential reincarnation upon return to the Island. But perhaps we should also be thinking about Christian. And Jacob. After all, if Alpert's tests resemble that of those meant to determine the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, doesn't Jacob's well being hinge upon Locke's return?

Locke is The Little Prince. At the end of the novella that inspired the title of tonight's episode, the titular character insists that while it might look to the narrator as if he has died, it's simply that his body is too heavy to return to his home planet. I know the show centered around Aaron's fate, but I think the Prince is actually Locke. (Read more about the connection between the book and the show here.) It's unclear just how John Locke will die (although it looks like we're going to learn just how in the very near future), but dying is just another step along the journey. "Reincarnation" literally means "to be made flesh again," and it's something we've seen over and over again in Lost. Visions that have physical mass pervade the show, so we shouldn't be terribly surprised to see it written on the side of a van.

23) The Moment

I just about lost my damn mind when I saw French writing on the beach wreckage.

42) Random Thoughts

  1. So, Ben hired Dan Norton, but did he also hire the would-be assailant to attack Sayid? Makes sense, in that the attacks were non-lethal and meant to set Sayid on edge. I don't think this means Ben hired Ishmael to kill Nadia, however. I know a lot of people think that, but even with Ben's extensive network off-Island, he was still surprised to end up in October 2005 after turning the donkey wheel.
  2. I'm glad the Oceanic 6 won't take the entire season to return, as the on-Island activities far, far, far exceed those off-Island to this point.
  3. I need Charlotte to do something besides bleed. Please, Lost, let her do anything, ANYTHING besides that.
  4. During the boat attack, I actually jotted down, "A more heavily-armed Head of the Charles!" That makes me giggle. I'm an easy audience.
  5. Did anyone else scream "The Constant!" upon seeing Jack's pen light?

108) In Summary

Not the epic WTF that was "Jughead," but still an insanely satisfying hour of television. Those put off by the frantic pace and information overload of the season's first hour didn't have to worry: that episode merely had to set up the rules more leisurely explored since. Not only that, but the structure allows us to learn Danielle's backstory while Danielle's pushing up the crazy daisies with Karl. How's this a bad thing?

The big question going forth to me isn't so much when the Island fold are going, but why they are going to those particular times. Are they merely swept up in the forces of time, or are the flashes, much like the Island, somehow "aware" and guiding them along, hoping these people can affect the necessary change before they end up a bloody, brain-scrambled mess? I won't pretend to know, but I think it's worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.

What did you think about tonight's episode? Are the non-Island activities as exciting as the on-Island happenings? What did you make of the Ajira bottles? Were you more excited to see Danielle or Jin?

Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude, then peruses Zap2It's Guide to Lost Facebook group. He also encourages you to subscribe to the Zap2It's Guide to Lost Twitter feed.